Any Port in a Storm: Identifying Port Infrastructure and Architecture in the Upper Usumacinta

Author(s): Arianna Campiani; Nicoletta Maestri

Year: 2015


For the Classic period, recent regional studies in the Usumacinta basin have proposed a mixed system of communication involving both waterborne and inland routes. Circulation of people and things along these routes depended on physiographic features as well as political boundaries. Several settlements located on strategic points along these itineraries could have controlled and/or facilitated the transit. Some of these sites, due to their proximity to the river course, might have been ports and functioned as head of navigation or simple transit points.

In this presentation we will analyze the formal architectonic features that could support these functions. Specifically, we will focus on urban layouts, the position of possible landing areas with respect to the settlement, along with the circulation paths (formal and informal) that connected them, and, finally,on the presence and typology of architectural compounds and infrastructures associated with these areas in order to support the existence of a port zone. We will explore these lines of evidence in the site of Boca Chinikihá, Tabasco, comparing it with other sites of the Upper Usumacinta, as well as with examples from the Petexbatún and Pasión regions.

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Cite this Record

Any Port in a Storm: Identifying Port Infrastructure and Architecture in the Upper Usumacinta. Nicoletta Maestri, Arianna Campiani. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395989)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;